The number of people suffering from hunger last year rose at the fastest pace since at least the beginning of this century as conflicts and climate-related issues curbed access to food.

Those categorized as hungry increased by about 38 million to 815 million in 2016, accounting for 11 percent of the global population, according to a report from the United Nations. The findings also show that food security has worsened in some peaceful places amid economic slowdowns, while 13 percent of adults are battling obesity.

“These recent estimates are a warning signal that achieving the goal of a world without hunger and malnutrition by 2030 will be challenging,” the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and four other agencies said in the report published Friday. “Deteriorations have been observed most notably in situations of conflict, often compounded by droughts or floods, linked in part to the El Nino phenomenon.”

More than half of those hungry live in areas affected by violent conflicts that have crippled local agriculture and restricted access to food supplies, with African nations being among the worst hit. Famine was declared earlier this year in South Sudan, while Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen have suffered more food shortages. The increase in the undernourished also came as a gauge of food prices rebounded from a seven-year low, even amid a global glut of grains.

Some key findings:

n One-fifth of those in Africa and 12 percent in Asia were hungry.

n 155 million children under 5 were too short for their age.

n 52 million children aren’t heavy enough for their height.

n One-third of people in eastern Africa were undernourished.

n Adult obesity is also rising everywhere at a faster pace.

While the number of undernourished people around the world last year rose to the highest level since 2008, it was still about 14 percent below a peak set in 2003.

The situation is likely to improve this year, U.N. FAO Secretary General Jose Graziano da Silva said at a press conference in Rome, citing an improving economy, fading odds of El Nino and progress made in conflict-affected areas.

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